The Mountainside Counseling Department will support a school-wide AVID model and an IB for all mentality while advocating for all students to become well-rounded, capable, thriving adults who can confidently achieve individually defined success. Counselors are leaders in the development of increased opportunities and an inclusive school culture.
Supports Provided by Counselors
- Individual Appointments
- Guidance regarding academic progress, including graduation
- Social/emotional support
- Other planning
- Group Work
- Social/emotional support
- College and career readiness workshops
- Classroom Lessons
- Guidance for academic success
- Post-high school planning
- School-wide and District-wide Events
- Academic planning
- Post-high school planning
- Priscilla Smith, School Psychologist
- Claudia Ochoa Cosio, Bilingual Community Liaison
- Mary Monahan, Registrar
- Mark Ragsdale, Grad Mentor
- Lindzey Ramos, Grad Mentor
- Elisa Bennett, Counseling Secretary
Priscilla attended Lewis & Clark College where she received her Master's in School Psychology. Prior to becoming a School Psychologist, Priscilla was a Spanish Bilingual Immersion Teacher. Priscilla currently lives in Tigard with her husband and loves that she lives very close to Mountainside High School. She has two grown children and two grand-daughters. She enjoys non-fiction books, great movies, traveling to new places and hanging out with friends. She also loves hiking in the mountains and loves to walk on the beach, but best of all she loves to spend time with her family.
Claudia was a Beaverton School District student and graduated in 2006. After high school, Claudia attended Portland Community College. She has been the Bilingual Facilitator for 1 year at ISB and ACMA. Currently at Mountainside HS as well. During her free time, she loves spending time with her 2 children, an 8 year old and 4 month old baby keep her busy. Going on walks, reading, playing soccer, and watching movies are some of the things they enjoy together.
Mary attended George Fox University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social and Behavioral Studies. She has an extensive background working in education coming to the Beaverton School District most recently from George Fox where she served as the Coordinator for Alumni and Parent Relations under the Office of Advancement. Prior to that, she worked at Sherwood High School as Secretary to the Associate Principal. In each of the positions she has held she most enjoys being able serve the needs of students, families and the educational staff that supports them. Encouraging students as they move along their academic path and learn about their own interests and abilities is a privilege and joy to Mary. She has lived in the Northwest since childhood and has raised her own three children in the area. Time with family over a simple meal or a day where they can escape to the coast is where she most likes to spend her free time. “I am blessed to be a part of the team here at Mountainside High School. Especially at this exciting time, as this dynamic new community develops and grows. I anticipate wonderful things will happen here."
Lindzey was born and raised in Hermiston, OR. She attended Northwest Nazarene University and Boise State University where she studied Secondary Education with a Psychology emphasis. In her time after college she moved to the Portland area where she could be closer to family. Lindzey is a proud dog mom to a 95lbs St. Bernard and Golden Retriever mix. In her free time she enjoys attending concerts, watching movies, and playing team sports. Outside of her role as Grad Mentor Lindzey will also be the Head JV Softball Coach. Go Mavs!
Elisa is excited to be working as Student Support for the students at Mountainside. She has spent the past 17 years volunteering in the Beaverton School District and enjoys working with students of all ages, especially teenagers. Helping others be successful is one of her greatest joys which is why she rarely says no to a volunteer opportunity. After working in the corporate world for 15 years she decided to return to college where she earned her BA in Human Resource Management from George Fox University. She is an avid runner, loves to organize events and spend time with family, especially her 150 pound Newfoundland dog Maggie.
“Rest is a tool”
- Sleep is important to help you stay positive and alert in school.
- Some research even says that when we study then sleep, we remember things better.
Keep Yourself Healthy
- Eating a balanced diet, exercising and avoiding drugs and alcohol are all habits that keep both your mind and body healthy.
Develop your relaxation and coping skills:
- Stressful things like tests are a part of high school. The good news is that there are lots of ways to help you manage the stress you may feel.
- Some students exercise, others follow a spiritual practice; some students make lists of to-do items, others journal about what is bugging them.
- Find the skills that work for you; and, if you need more ideas, talk with your school counselor!
Build your “go-to” team:
- Everyone needs a “go-to” team of people to talk to when they are feeling stressed.
- Your parents, siblings, relatives, counselor, teachers, coaches, and friends could all be part of that team.
- The key is to keep in mind at least 3 people that you know you could go to when you need to talk about a frustration. Then, when the time comes that you need support, you will already know who you could talk to! (Plus, they are the people that will want to help you celebrate your successes too!)
Preparation and Routine:
- Plan to do homework or studying every day.
- Set a time limit for how long you will study or do homework at any one time.
- Take breaks! For every 50 minutes of homework or study time, take a 10-minute break. Move, get out in nature, or be active during these breaks.
- Have a place that is your study and homework spot.
- Utilize study and homework sessions at school.
- Have a snack. Studying takes energy, so give your brain some fuel!
- Be positive.
- Set a goal for the homework time each day. For example: what one thing do you for sure have to get done during this time?
- Homework: have a strategy for which homework to work on first. Some students start with the shortest assignments first. This helps them feel accomplished, and encouraged to do more. Other students start with the bigger/longer projects when they feel like that have more energy and can be more productive. Choose the strategy that works for you and stick with it!
- If your mind is wandering, or you feel like you can’t focus, go do a small task or chore. This will get you moving and that momentum can help you re-focus on your homework when you come back to it. Tasks could be: clean your room, make your bed, organize your binder or backpack, etc. Keep the activity to 10-15 minutes.
- For studying: start by reviewing your class notes. Make sure to work with the notes in a new way. Examples: make flashcards of key vocabulary in your notes, highlight key points and then write a summary paragraph at the end of your notes, add questions for anything that is unclear to you and make sure to ask your teacher about it next class period. Next, re-read any class materials (textbook, novels, articles, etc.) and add information to your notes. You might find more vocabulary words, or more key points, or an answer to one of your questions that you can add to your notes.
- The week before the test spend 20-30 minutes per day reviewing key points for the material that is going to be tested.
- You can use flashcards, lists, or class notes to make sure you are reviewing the unit’s key points.
Read then Sleep:
- The night before your test, make sure you read over your notes, key point flashcards or lists right before you go to sleep.
- Research shows that whatever we focus on last, right before we go to sleep, our brains will keep processing all night.
- One way to get more comfortable taking tests is to rehearse being in the test-taking setting during your study time at home.
- Set-up a study space that has just a chair and desk without any gadgets (like cell phones, computers, or TV) around you.
- Use a pen or pencil that can become your “lucky test taking” pen or pencil.
- Time yourself for 60-90 minutes doing a focused activity. If you finish your homework before that time is up, you might practice answering math questions for that amount of time, or free writing about the key points from your flashcards.
- One way to help the answers flow from your brain to the paper is to help yourself relax at the beginning of the test before you start answering questions.
- You can start by taking 3-5 deep breaths before you read the first question.
- Also, if your teacher allows you to chew gum, try chewing gum during the test. Some research says that chewing gum can relieve stress and may even help blood flow to your brain so that it is easier to answer questions.
- On the day of your test, take your flashcards, study guide or key point lists with you to review on the bus, at lunch or whenever you have free time during the day.
- Setting both short-term and long-term goals keeps you productive.
- If your activities line up with your goals, keep doing them. If they don’t line up with your goals, rethink whether you should be doing them.
- Set goals for the day, week, and month. For example, set a goal of one task to complete by the end of the day, and set a goal about how to use your homework time after school.
- When trying to decide how to start a bunch of tasks, spend time identifying what is most urgent. Ask yourself: what is due the soonest? What will take the most time to complete? What am I most worried about? Which tasks overlap? The answers to those questions will tell you what to work on first.
- Also, spend time deciding which tasks can or should really wait for another time, so they don’t draw away your attention from the more urgent tasks.
- Know when you work best. Some people are morning people; others are night owls.
- On weekends, use the time of day that is best for you to do academic work.
- If your mind is wandering, or you feel like you can’t focus, go do a small task or chore. This will get you moving and that momentum can help you re-focus on your homework when you come back to it. Tasks could be cleaning your room, making your bed, organizing your binder or backpack, etc.
- Keep the activity to 10-15 minutes so that you get refocused, but don’t start procrastinating from your original homework or studying.
Adapted from Coaching Positive Performance
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